GI Jane Finances

May 31, 2011

Memorable adventures

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 4:27 pm

It has been a flurry of activities these past two weeks. I went ziplining.  My friend had a baby shower on 21 May which was pretty fun.  I spent $60 on baby clothes.  The mother-to-be was grateful that I bought 0-3 months clothes.  I discovered after the last year baby gifts, the mother did not appreciate that I bought 1-2 year old clothes.  The prevailing wisdom is that infant clothing won’t be useful after a couple of months.  But hey, why should the baby not be dressed from 0-3 months? It was a good time.   And I really loved my friend’s house…great view, landscaping and design.

I just recovered from a long weekend in Seoul.  I finally broke down and went to a fraternity party/cruise.  Unfortunately, the Dragon Hill was booked since I waited till the very end to decide on the trip.  I decided to stay at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul.  It was only a $3 cab ride; but the room was about $210 a night!  After checking in early, I thought it would be good to arrive to the rendezvous on a full stomach.  I had the champagne brunch…which was very delicious.  Now I am in a good mood, only to go to the pier and wait 1.5 hours until the cruise.  My friends who were going to meet there had better intel and showed up 10 minutes before the start.  I am kinda of pissed at this point…regretting signing up for the trip.  Nevertheless, I soldier on a find out that they managed to get a table.  The Han River cruise went from 5-9 p.m.  We ended up having such a good time that we did not want to leave the boat at 9 p.m.  The DJ was fantastic.  I had no idea there were so many group/line dances out there.  I only knew the cha cha, electric slide and the shuffle dance.  I managed to get the courage and learn one only for the boat party to be near over.  So, we made it back to the post at 9:30 p.m.  The after party was at 10-3 a.m.  I ended up falling asleep in my room until mid-night, got ready and made it there at 12:30 a.m.  The party was a dud.  Should have stayed in my room.

The next day, I met with a Korean contractor, who has been wanting to show me Seoul for the past couple of weeks.  He was so generous with his time and money.  We went to three famous markets, Bukak skyway and finished with the Seoul tower.  We had an awesome Italian dinner course at the tower (Namsam).  I felt bad he was paying for everything, but he refused to let me help.  I made it home at 10 p.m.

Today, I think I found a buyer for my car.  I initially wanted $1200 for the 96 Kia Credos.  He offered $900.  Hmmm.  He said he will let me know in a couple of days for certain.  I am 90% sure he wants it, especially at $300 cheaper than asking.  Since I am losing $300, I will see if he will wait until 3 or 4 weeks for me to turn it over to him.  I hate the idea of losing $300 and walking/taxiing for a month!

Back to the grind tomorrow…le sigh.

GI Jane

May 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 8:06 pm

My favorite quotes from 50 Fascinating Things I’ve Read Lately:

“Today, of Americans officially designated as ‘poor,’ 99 percent have electricity, running water, flush toilets, and a refrigerator; 95 percent have a television, 88 percent a telephone, 71 percent a car and 70 percent air conditioning. Cornelius Vanderbilt had none of these.”

–Matt Ridley

“A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed.”

–Peter Thiel

“Sudanese people live in unspeakable poverty, yet come to the U.S. and remark on how miserable Americans’ lives are. All we do is work. No time for family, friends, or social gatherings.”

–Adapted from the documentary God Grew Tired of Us

“In school they give you a question and ask you to find an answer. In the real world the answers are everywhere — the Internet, calculators, history books, reference manuals. The trick is asking the right questions.”

–Adapted from speech by Conrad Wolfram

“The fastest way to become rich is to socialize with the poor; the fastest way to become poor is to socialize with the rich.”

–Nassim Taleb

“In 1945 the U.S. accounted for about 50% of total global output, twice what it does now. Why? Because most of the rest of the industrial world was in ruins. Had history taken another turn or two, the U.S. would not have had the monopoly of riches it enjoyed for the next three decades. Consider: At the beginning of the last century, Germany was an industrial and scientific powerhouse, but two world wars and Nazism ended that. Had it not succumbed to militarism in the 1920s and ’30s, Japan would have had a modern, technology-based economy by the 1940s, not the 1970s.”

–Michael Elliott

“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

–Mark Twain

May 6, 2011

Countdown to the move to San Antonio

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 12:33 pm

I am completely in love with the tv FX series called Justified.  I have been looking to fill the void left by Mad Men as it went into hiatus.  I usually shun cop dramas.  I haven’t watched one since Miami Vice!  I totally have a crush on the Raylan Givens, the lead protagonist played by Timothy Olyphant.  The writing and directing are amazing.  I actually did a search to see if Olyphant or Justified won any awards.  They finally snagged a Peabody this year, but really and shamefully have been overlooked by the Emmys.  According to Cleveland.com:  “Although Olyphant’s wonderfully laconic Raylan can hold his head up high in this select company, “Justified” hasn’t received nearly the amount of notoriety it deserves.”  I can’t wait to catch up on all of the seasons over the weekend.  It is a great show to get ready for my move to Texas even though it is set in Kentucky.

I am moving on up in the world.  Vanguard just sent me a welcome brochure because now I am a Voyager Services member due to having $50,000-$500,000 in mutual funds.  Yeah!  Benefits:

Exemption from mutual fund/brokerage fees

  • Commission-free Vanguard ETF trades
  • Stock and non-Vanguard ETF trades for $7
  • Customized financial plan worth $1,000 for $250 (may just do that)

When I get $500,000 to $1 million in mutual fund assets, I qualify for Voyager Select Services:

  • Greater reduction on brokerage fees and commissions discounted to just $2 for each stock or non-Vanguard ETF trade
  • Free consultations with a certified financial planner whenever the need arises

My goal this weekend is to clean out my car and take pictures of it for the “for sale” sign.  I also need to purge and organize my files in preparation for the move.  I am thinking about signing up for a zip line trip on 15 May that sounds exciting.  That is it for now.

GI Jane

May 4, 2011

Hey Big Spender!

Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 12:05 pm

Just got back from Jeju Island.  It was a good trip…glad to be back in my bed.  Wow, Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Congratulations to the Navy Seal team for a tremendous job! 

 I should be getting my orders soon for San Antonio.  I am buying up a storm in preparation for my move.  I am still drooling over a bedroom suite that I have been eyeing since last year.  My bank account took a beating after buying up a storm at a furniture auction.  I bought this beautiful 100% silk Oriental carpet for $1,400.  I also bought a $140 Tiffany lamp that ended up with a crack on it already (very annoyed).  Lastly, I purchased a lacquer/mother of pearl trunk/chest of drawers, a leather window seat and a porcelain wine cooler.  I will upload pictures later.  The bedroom suite I want will probably cost about $2,500.

I still need to sell my car.  I am thinking I should post a “for sale” sign by next week.  I bought it for $1,300 in 2009.  I think I will sell it at $1100 or $1200.  It would be cool to sell it before I leave.  It would offset the costs for my upcoming vacation.  The only thing left to spend on that is a rental car in Chicago.  It seems like the rental car prices are knocked down lower the closer you get to needing it.  I refuse to pay $64 a day.  I have a $100 Hertz gift certificate, but it is useless on Hotwire.  Sorry, I used my points for something that if I used it would cost me more money than if I didn’t use it. Uggh!

GI Jane

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